March 12th marked an important date for the COVID-19 Pandemic. There was an influx of announcements surrounding cancellations regarding sporting events, with Major League Soccer included in those flurries of reports. It was confirmed that MLS would be postponed by thirty days following the increased outbreak in North America. This came as a substantial disappointment for the Philadelphia Union, who were preparing to experience their home opener on March 14th. Supporters of this MLS outfit were excited for the home opener, with the Philadelphia Union tying LAFC 3-3 in an exciting draw.
It should be mentioned that the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have also postponed their respective seasons. Considering that all MLS teams were training for the upcoming weekend, it was surprising to players and team coaches alike to learn that the season would be postponed. The Head Coach for the Philadelphia Union, Jim Curtin, held a press conference regarding the unexpected announcement.
He mentioned that when the announcement came in, everybody was training in anticipation of San Jose. Everyone was immediately informed to walk off the field and implement self-isolation tactics. Jim Curtin noted that there’s an uneasy feeling around the MLS Community, with nobody particularly aware of what’s coming in the next month. There’s the potential that the coronavirus outbreak in North America will become a pandemic, which would prompt extended delays of sporting events. Some analysts anticipate that 2020 will historically be considered “The Year Sports Ended”.
The Quarantine Protocols
When questioned by reporters if the Philadelphia Union’s are supporting the decision to postpone the season for thirty days, Jim Curtin expressed that he believes MLS Executives made the correct decision. The safety and health of the overall MLS community have become drastically essential for all twenty-six outfits.
All employed individuals with Major League Soccer have been informed to stay away from their respective training facilities going forward. Additional updates will be provided on March 16th, with it being expected that players will be told to train privately in their separate residences. Coaches will have video-conference calls with these players to ensure the proper strategies are being taught. This level of coaching will never have been experienced by Jim Curtin or anybody else operating within MLS.